Thursday, March 23, 2023


‘He Lived Life to the Fullest’: Daughter Grieves US Tourist Killed in ATV Crash

The tourist killed when the all-terrain vehicle in which he was a passenger crashed and rolled over, was described as “a kind, caring and gentle soul.”

Wilber Jorge was visiting Nassau, Bahamas, from the USA, and died unexpectedly after he was ejected from the 2019 Can-AM Outlander Four Wheeler on Sunday. Authorities said he sustained serious injuries after Carol Garcia, also visiting from the US, lost control of the ATV.

“He lived his life to the fullest every single day…” his daughter, Keyshla Jorge said, describing him as “an amazing father” to her three siblings.

“He was loved dearly by all his family.”

Wilber Jorge is shown with his daughter Keyshla Jorge and other children, below.

Susy Mero, his partner, said she is still processing the events surrounding Jorge’s sudden death and expressed her profound love for him.

“I loved you (Jorge). I love you and I will always love you.”

Wilber Jorge with Susy Meso

Since the crash, Jorge’s remains are still in the Bahamas and his family is hoping to transport his body to Lakeworth, Florida with monies raised from GoFundMe.

“Anything helps…we want to bring him home to his loved ones,” Mero said.

The family is hoping to raise $50,000 to cover the funeral expenses and offer financial help for his children.

Meanwhile, Garcia is on $18,000 bail after a charge of vehicular manslaughter was levied against her. She stands accused of dangerously driving the ATV in a public space which caused the death of Jorge.

As the family plans a date for the funeral, Mero admonished others, “Please hug your loved ones tightly as you never know what can happen.”


Featured photo: Wilber Jorge is shown with partner Susy Meso


What to Know About Bahamian Woman Killed in Florida Roll Over Crash

A Bahamian woman was reportedly killed in a Florida car crash when the vehicle in which she was a passenger, flipped over a median and sat mangled next to Interstate-95, Northwest Miami-Dade.

The young woman identified as Tiaja Springer from Freeport, GrandBahama was travelling with a man who was driving the vehicle when their black Alfa Romeo sedan, heading south, lost control, meandered off the road, hitting a traffic box before it came to a stop.


Images show the car on its roof in the grass median.

Springer was killed in the 4 am rollover crash and the man was last listed in critical condition at Florida Aventura Hospital.

The tragic accident forced road closure as investigators scoured the scene to investigate the accident.

Friends and family took to social media to remember the Sunland Baptist graduate, killed in the tragedy. Many described her as “so full of life.”



It is not known what led to the vehicle losing control.

Everything to Know About the Strangulation of a Pregnant Bahamian Woman in Orlando

On Thursday, Orange County Police found the body of 29-year-old Joanna Gomez-Simo, who is a Bahamian living in Orlando, Florida.

The police were called to the home for a welfare check when family members reported that they were unable to reach her. Her boyfriend Pierre Floriant, 41, allowed authorities inside the Pointe Vista Apartments where they found the pregnant woman strangled to death in her bedroom where she lived with her four children.

Police have since arrested Floriant and charged him with murder.

What happened the day Joanna Gomez-Simo was found dead

It is not known when she was strangled to death but her phone went unanswered for days. She was found with a blanket covering her body as Floriant stayed in the home.

After the murder, he dropped off their 6-month-old child for someone to keep for the night then returned to the apartment. And when the police arrived to investigate the home after a welfare complaint was made, he opened the door to permit them inside where they found the woman, who was 20 weeks pregnant, already dead.

Floriant said he believed Gomez-Simo was cheating on him and he did not want the baby.

Pierre Floriant abused Joanna Gomez-Simo before her death

Floriant has a history of domestic abuse stemming from December of last year when he punched Gomez-Simo in the stomach and neck to abort the baby. Because she refused he said, “he would perform the abortion himself,” she reported to the police before her death.

She had reached out to the police for help in times past when she wished to pursue criminal charges against Floriant. She was recently named as a victim in a Domestic Violence Aggravated Battery case involving Floriant as the defendant.

But Gomez-Simo moved out of state and was no longer in fear for her life so she dropped the charges against him.

The prosecution office said despite her desire to drop the case, it continued to investigate the matter but stated there was insufficient evidence to move forward with criminal charges and prove the case “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Gomez-Simo admitted to police that there were two other cases that were unreported where Floriant abused her.

What are the charges?

Floriant confessed to the killing and is charged with 1st-degree murder and the killing of an unborn child.

Abaco and GB Prepare for Another Hit as Nicole Churns to a Hurricane and is Enroute to the Bahamas

Tropical Storm Nicole is evolving and is churning towards the northern Bahamas before it heads to Florida.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Abaco, Berry Islands, Bimini and Grand Bahama with a tropical storm warning for Andros Island, New Providence and Eleuthera.

Eliane Hall, who works at a hotel in Great Abaco island, told CNBC that islanders were queuing at gas stations and grocery stores preparing for the storm’s arrival.

“We just boarded it up,” she said of the hotel.

Abaco and Grand Bahama were devastated by Hurricane Dorian in 2019 when category 5 winds struck the islands. Experts worry that communities in these areas will receive a direct hit from Nicole.

Capt. Stephen Russell, emergency management authority director said, “We don’t have time to beg and plead for persons to move.”

Meteorologists said the storm has a “very large cyclonic envelope.”

The storm’s track shifted slightly north overnight, but it’s path is uncertain as it approaches Florida, where it is expected to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane late Wednesday or early Thursday.

Tropical storm conditions are expected in the Bahamas by Tuesday tonight or early Wednesday.

Airports and seaports will close as the storm nears and not reopen until Thursday, and they urged people in shantytowns to seek secure shelter.

Hurricane warnings were issued for a portion of Florida’s Atlantic Coast, from Boca Raton to north of Daytona Beach. Tropical storm warnings are in place for other parts of the Florida coast, all the way to Altamaha Sound, Georgia. The warning area also stretches inland, covering Florida’s Lake Okeechobee, with tropical storm watches in effect on the state’s Gulf Coast — from Bonita Beach in southwest Florida to the Ochlockonee River in the Panhandle.


In Pictures: Hurricane Ian Rips Florida, Uproots Homes. Hundreds May Be Dead

Floridians along the west coast woke up on Thursday morning to devastation as Hurricane Ian moves over the state.The ferocious storm dumped rain and brought wind gusts that pushed over homes, uprooted trees, and may have killed hundreds of people.Two million people are without power and many are without water.Rescue workers are searching for people trapped in their homes.

Florida Governor Ron Desantis described it as historic. “We’ve never seen a flood event like this,” he said. “It is one of the top five hurricanes to ever hit the Florida peninsula.”

President Biden has since declared it a disaster, approving disaster funding to get the state to a sense of normalcy. He added that though not official, many people are feared dead. “This could be the deadliest storm in Florida history. The numbers we have are still unclear, but we’re hearing early reports of what may be a substantial loss of life.”

Ian made landfall on Wednesday as a category 4 hurricane. It has since weakened to a tropical storm as it barrels up north but is expected to strengthen as it moves over the Atlantic Ocean later on Thursday.

Orlando has since declared a flash flood emergency.


Photo credit: Getty, ABC News

In Pictures: Hurricane Ian Lashes Florida with Powerful Wind Gusts and Strong Surge

Hurricane Ian made landfall near Fort Myers on Wednesday, just after 3 p.m. Meteorologists say it arrived as a Category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds near 150 mph.

They warned that storm surge could reach up to 18 feet in coastal areas in Florida.

Hurricane Ian picked up speed, threatening to upgrade to a category 5 storm.

More than 2.5 million people in Florida were under an evacuation order. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned people who did not evacuate to stay inside, calling Ian “the big one.”

“This is a really, really significant storm. It will be one of the storms people always remember.”

Nearly 645,000 customers are without power. The state’s largest electricity provider is bracing for damage to its utility.

Hurricane effects are expected to be felt in the Bahama islands which are located near Florida–Grand Bahama, Abaco, Bimini and Berry Islands where schools are closed.

A Sister Is Praying the Missing Boaters Come Home

More than a week since their disappearance on the high seas, sister Themeia Sands is anxiously awaiting her brothers’ return, who traveled in a boat from Bimini to their purported next stop, Andros.

Themeia took to social media asking for assistance in finding the men, Christopher Mackey and Jerone Sands, showing the bright yellow and white boat they were last seen in.

Mackey, 51, worked at the Water and Sewage Corporation and Sands, 44, was a carpenter and a boat engine repair man, travelling from Nassau to Florida to pick up a boat, purchased by a buyer in the capital.

Family members in Bimini said the men stopped by on their way to Andros, but experienced a problem with the boat’s engine and the hull. And were admonished to take a plane from Bimini but the men opted to continue their journey to Andros, after making the necessary repairs to the vessel.

The brothers left Bimini on Monday 22nd after 3 pm but never reached Andros according to a family member who stood on the dock awaiting their arrival until 2 am.

Since then, the family has been worried, praying the pair will soon call to say they are in good physical shape.

Themeia said, “This is alarming and strange that were funding the sea and aircraft in an effort to find them and bring them home safely. Nothing was spotted. Someone saw or know something.”

The sister, while on social media, agitated for the Royal Bahamas Police force to produce a missing person flyer for the men, calling officers “laid back” in the attempt to help find her brothers.

On Wednesday afternoon, authorities issued the flyer asking for the public’s assistance in finding the men.

If you see Mackey or Sands, call the police at 911 or 502-9991. Family members are also asking the boaters to be on the lookout for the pair.

Missing Boater Found After Bimini Trip. Coast Guards Suspect Human Smuggling Activity.

A South Florida boater was found alive after being reported missing for several days. However, officials suspect human smuggling activity.

Fifty-four-year-old Juan Gonzalez was on his way from Bimini, Bahamas in a 22-foot vessel with a stepson who is not a US citizen, and was expected to arrive at Homestead Bayfront Park in Miami on Sunday.

When he did not show up, a missing person’s report was filed.

Someone spotted a disabled boat about 10 miles off Jupiter Inlet. He was rescued after reporting that he had run out of fuel.

Lt Karolina Vega said, “Human smuggling ventures, whether paid for or made by a friend or family member are subject to criminal and civil penalties.”

Mariners should file a float plan, tell someone where they are going and when they are returning, and be in possession of a VHF radio.

Gonzalez is being investigated further.


Brian Laundrie Doppelganger in the Bahamas?

A man who bears a striking resemblance to Brian Laundrie wants to make it clear that he is not the Florida fugitive.

Following a report by CSJ Report, many people in Freeport have been on the lookout for Laundrie.

The doppelganger who wanted to remain anonymous told CSJ Report, “… all the sightings have been of people driving past in the street. And at least once, that person was me. I could easily be mistaken in those circumstances, especially wearing my hat and sunglasses.”

The search for Laundrie has become a widespread hunt since John Walsh, a popular criminal investigator and host of In Pursuit, said it is possible Laundrie could be in the Bahamas, considering Freeport is less than 70 miles from Florida’s coast, and a few tips of possible sightings.

Laundrie returned from a cross-country camping trip without his fiance Gabby Petito on September 14 and disappeared days later. His parents reported him “missing” a few days after they last saw him.

Gabby’s body was later found on campgrounds in Wyoming.

The man said, he has been stopped and questioned by the Grand Bahama police on one occasion.

“Up close I’m obviously not him, but I can see how there could be confusion. I’m worried the police may be wasting resources searching Freeport, and meanwhile, the guy has moved elsewhere.”

The man said he does not believe Laundrie is walking the streets of Freeport.

“That’s an easy way to get caught as neither Bahamians nor Americans walk anywhere, so it’s bound to draw attention.

“If he has any sense he’s probably paid a fishing boat to take him to Cuba by now.”

Reports reached CSJ Report that a man resembling Laundrie was seen near the area of Sunland School and on another occasion near St George’s School, walking with only a backpack.

The man appeared “confused,” according to eyewitnesses. A woman who wanted to remain anonymous said, “It looked just like him.”

The unusual sighting of a caucasian man in various areas on Freeport has raised the alarm.

FBI agents have scoured a preserve area near Laundrie’s home  in Florida and have now extended the search to remote Florida islands and cays.

The reward leading to the capture and arrest of Laundrie now stands at $180,000.


Coast Guards End Search. 20 People Onboard Boat from Bimini Missing

The US Coast Guard suspended its search for 20 people on board a 29-foot vessel that left Bimini for Florida, but never made it.

Officials say the blue and white 29-foot Mako Cuddy Cabin vessel reportedly left Bimini, Bahamas on Monday with 20 passengers and was expected to arrive in Lake Worth, Florida.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the missing people. I encourage anyone with information about the people aboard to contact us as soon as possible,” said Captain Stephen Burdian, Seventh District Chief of Response.”

Coast guard authorities said they along with the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and the Bahamas Air Sea and Rescue Association searched nearly 17,000 square miles of sea, for about three days, with no trace of the vessel.

A family member of someone on board the vessel alerted authorities in the Bahamas after a relative on board the vessel did not call alerting that they had arrived in Florida, according to Petty Officer Third Class Jose Hernandez. 

Hernandez told the Sun-Sentinel, “We don’t care if they’re illegals or drug trafficking,” Hernandez said. “We don’t want any lives lost at sea.”

What is not known

  • why the boat was going to Florida
  • which part of Lake Worth Beach it was headed to
  • the names and nationalities of those on board